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Vijay Mehta
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xx Kalpen Modi - Kal Pen on his way to white house.
« Thread started on: Apr 10th, 2009, 1:30pm »

Our heartiest congratulations to Kalpen Modi - Kal Penn. He has accepted the position as associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Never in the history of US, has so many desis were given the prominent role in the government. List is long. Sonal Shah, Nicholas Rathod, Parag Mehta, Preeta Bansal, Eboo Patel, Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn) and many more.
Besides just being proud of our younger generation it is important that republican desi start demanding the same from their party. It is high time Republicans learn to highlight our talents. If I have to choose between tax cut for wealthy versus opportunity for Desi to play equal role in government I chose the later.

Recently a Texas state senator said Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with. What is next? Asian American descent people should tatoo unique figures on their face because they look alike? - Vijay Mehta


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Kal Penn to Serve in Obama White House
By LISA TSERING
indiawest.com April 09, 2009 02:01:00 PM


“Kumar” is headed for the White House. Actor Kal Penn, 31, has been named to a high-profile position in the Obama administration, it was announced April 7.

Penn will serve as the associate director for the White House Office of Public Liaison and will do outreach to two often overlooked communities — Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and nonprofit arts groups.

“Given his background, it’s clear that he can speak to these two communities,” a White House spokesperson told India-West April 7. He would not specify when the job would start.

Penn’s resume includes roles on the hit Fox shows “House” and “24”; the actor was launched to Hollywood stardom in the stoner comedy “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” and starred in its sequel, “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” and Mira Nair’s “The Namesake.” Penn has also appeared in “Superman Returns,” “American Desi,” “Van Wilder” and “Van Wilder 2” and many other independent and Hollywood films.

But Penn — who was born Kalpen Modi and raised in New Jersey — has also followed other pursuits. He served as a visiting lecturer in Asian American studies, teaching a course on “Images of Asian Americans in the Media,” at the University of Pennsylvania, and has a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Penn also joined Stanford University’s international studies program online in 2006.

He volunteered at the Democratic National Convention in Denver last August, and became a member of then-candidate Barack Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee. He performed at the “We Are One” inauguration day celebration at the Washington, D.C., Lincoln Memorial.

He also won the AZN Asian Excellence Award in 2007 for his performance in “The Namesake.”

Penn’s role as Dr. Lawrence Kutner in the Fox series “House” came to an end April 6, when his character committed suicide. It was an unusual but effective way for Penn to wrap up his tenure with the show, and it was his idea, the actor told Entertainment Weekly.

“I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House,” Penn told EW. “I got to know the president and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there.”

According to Penn, the White House Office of Public Liaison does “outreach with the American public and with different organizations. They’re basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House.”

He elaborated in an interview with Television Without Pity blog: “What they try and do is take the administration itself out of Washington, so they go into communities across the country, continue the sorts of dialogue people had started during the campaign and basically ensure that a bunch of citizens’ views about their elected officials, about their government, are all happening and that they're working effectively.

“[They] make sure that a lot of these new voices that have emerged — especially during the campaign season — are brought to the table, Democrats, Republicans, everyone in between.”

A job like this represents a drastic cut in pay for Penn, but he told Entertainment Weekly he was willing to do it anyway.

“There’s not a lot of financial reward in these jobs. But, obviously, the opportunity to serve in a capacity like this is an incredible honor,” he said.

Politics was always something he was interested in, Penn told EW.

“Probably from the time I was a kid, I really enjoyed that balance between the arts and public service. I went to a performing arts high school, but I still took a bunch of those dorky political science classes.

“It’s probably because of the value system my grandparents instilled in me. They marched with Gandhi in the Indian independence movement, and that was always in the back of my head.” Penn says he will devote his time to his new job, which will mean he won’t be performing. “Who’s to say where any path leads? I still have a passion for it. But for the time being, I won’t be acting.” Penn said he has no plans to run for public office.

The actor’s publicist did not return an India-West reporter’s call by press time

« Last Edit: Apr 10th, 2009, 1:35pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

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